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Teen, Minor Face First-Degree Arson Charges After New Year's 'Pranks'

The duo allegedly set fire to holiday decorations at three Cumming homes.

Chase George Perry, 17, has been charged with three counts of first-degree arson and several counts of criminal trespass. Photo: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
Chase George Perry, 17, has been charged with three counts of first-degree arson and several counts of criminal trespass. Photo: Forsyth County Sheriff's Office
Two Forsyth County youngsters are facing serious criminal charges after a series New Year's incidents that damaged at least three homes in Cumming's Bridgetowne subdivision.

Chase George Perry, 17, of Cumming, and a minor, who authorities declined to identified, are facing three counts of first-degree arson after allegedly setting ablaze holiday decorations on or near the front entrances of three Fourth Rail Lane homes, according to Forsyth County Fire Department Division Chief Jason Shivers.

Shivers said fire crews were dispatched Dec. 31 about 3:15 a.m. to 4675 Fourth Rail Lane in Cumming—which sustained substantial damage to the front door area—after smoke detectors sounded and awoke the family inside.

Perry and the minor allegedly set fire to a natural wreath hanging on the door while the family slept, Fox 5 reported. The residents were able to douse the fire, which burned the door and melted a socket.

Christmas decorations at 4635 and 4555 Fourth Rail Lane also were set ablaze, Shivers said.

"What they considered a prank was most definitely not a prank," Shivers told Patch. "These were serious, serious incidents that involved life and death implications."

The teens endangered the lives of the members of the three families, all of whom were asleep when the blazes started, Shivers added. They also caused several thousands of dollars in damage.

Perry, who was arrested Jan. 2 and boarded at the Forsyth County Jail, also was charged with several counts of criminal trespass. Twenty-two mailboxes in the subdivision were ripped out of the ground during the early-morning bout of vandalism, information on which the community had offered a $10,000 reward, according to Fox 5.

A 17-year-old, who apparently was Perry, admitted his involvement Jan. 1 to one of the families, and said he was "under the influence" at the time of the alleged arson and vandalism and "thought it was funny," Fox 5 reported. The teen said he was riddled with guilt by New Year's Day.

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